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Banc of California Whistle-Blower Alleges Fraud, Strippers

  • Ex-loan officer files wrongful termination suit against lender
  • Bank’s stock tumbled last year based on short seller’s report
A Banc of California branch in Los Angeles.

A Banc of California branch in Los Angeles.

Photographer: Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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Banc of California Inc., the lender under investigation by U.S. regulators after a short seller linked it to an imprisoned con man, inflated profits and ignored a top executive using company funds to pay for strippers, according to a whistle-blower lawsuit.

A management decision to reverse accrued employee bonuses caused the company to improperly carry over revenues generated in 2016 to make it look more profitable this year, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday by Heather Endresen, who was most recently a managing director for the bank’s Small Business Administration’s loan program. Endresen said she was wrongfully terminated after complaining about the shifting pool of bonuses as well as the behavior of the company’s then-chief financial officer Francisco Turner.